NASA is working on a proposal that would allow it to sell seats to tourists that want to travel into space, the agency detailed in a recent report.
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“Developing the sustainable foundations for returning Americans to the Moon and enabling a new era of commercial spaceflight in low Earth orbit (LEO) are the linchpins of our national human spaceflight policy,” the NASA Advisory Council wrote.
Extra crew seats on rockets could be made available for purchase by citizens, according to the proposal.
The report continued on to say that the agency’s “new set of commercial human spaceflight capabilities” would necessitate cooperation from the private sector.
The report was requested by the National Advisory Council and U.S. Department of Commerce in February.
The move would be a big departure from the agency’s traditional mission – focused purely on science and space exploration.
In fact, to generate revenue, NASA may also seek to allow commercial use of its logo and astronauts the opportunity to appear in commercials, in addition to other promotional activities – an effort to feature the agency more prominently in American culture.
Among the notable private companies that are trying to send civilians into space are Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Earlier this year, a Japanese billionaire signed with SpaceX to become the company’s first customer to fly to the moon – a trip expected to take place in 2023